By Pafoua Yang

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The historic Capri theater in north Minneapolis is once again open to the public. It closed two years ago to embark on expanding and improving the facility.

Built in 1927, the Capri is the last of 13 theaters that once graced the northside of Minneapolis. The performing arts space was eventually bought by Plymouth Christian Youth Center.

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The newly-renovated 35,000 foot building includes brand new, state-of-the-art technology in its Best Buy Teen Tech Center and Student Lounge.

The new Broadway rehearsal room is designed with great vibe and natural light. The floor is sized to the dimensions of the Capri stage and has a fully-sprung dance floor.

The Capri theater now features new seating, lighting and sound. Architects have retained the original stage floor on which Prince performed his first gig as a solo artist in 1979. The theater seats 256 people.

(credit: CBS)

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The Paradise Community Hall and Lobby is a black box space that is versatile. The space can be used for a fashion show, a party, a theatrical production, a community meeting and much more.

Eleven-year-old Ayla Porter uses Capri and said the grand opening comes during a time when it’s needed most.

“It’s so modern and it’s like amazing,” Porter said. “It’s a way to make connection, friends, family and a way to express yourself if you can’t by just talking.”

Plymouth Christian Youth Center Executive Director Christopher Campbell said the $12.5 million renovation will address the growing need for performing arts in the community.

“Allowing people from north Minneapolis to come in here and speak truth and show their talents. If they need a space to do that in, we provide space for them,” Campbell said.

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Due to COVID-19, masks are required indoors. All guests will need proof of either full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result taken within 72 hours before attending an event.

Pafoua Yang